These days, with the ubiquity of online shopping, it can seem downright ludicrous that a sizeable chunk of professionals in the financial sector thought that e-commerce would never be a true rival of brick and mortar stores. Things like the risk of fraud, perceived vulnerability of personal information, and just general unsophistication of the online payment infrastructure meant that many people were convinced that e-commerce was always going to be a niche industry, mainly reserved for specialized products that are difficult to find in most towns. Luckily, for us consumers, many different banks stepped up to the plate and developed fancy ways to solve these problems and let everyone rest easy while shopping online. Now, more people are stepping up to the plate yet again to fill in the gaps even the banks couldn’t, making digital payments astonishingly simple.
Not sure what we’re getting at? Read on.
Ever walked into a store or a restaurant and noticed you forgot your wallet? The days of needing to drive back home are quickly drawing to a close, thanks to the advent of mobile payment solutions. In places such as Asia, mobile payments have started to become extremely commonplace. As we continue to use our phones more and more to do our online banking, it was only a matter of time before we were able to use them to directly pay for things as well. Digital payment processors are increasingly secure and trustworthy, which is a big reason for their increased adoption.
Alternative financial institutions
Previously, banks and large-scale payment processors were pretty much the only players in the online financial world, as only they had access to the infrastructure and technology necessary to facilitate e-commerce. Now, as complex technology is becoming more accessible, the barrier to entry is much lower. This means that smaller firms that specialize in certain services are popping up to help make things a bit more competitive. For instance, payment processor paymentcloud offers the same types of services that more well-known processors do, but with their own terms and services that might fit the needs of a business much closer. With the increasing number of these alternative services, expect sending and receiving money to have a lot less red tape, as they all scramble to be as inexpensive and easy to use as possible in the hopes of securing the largest market share they can.
How we use and structure data is changing at an extremely rapid pace, and how this data is used to help customers shop easier is also developing rather quickly. Businesses can now offer much more dynamic pricing and stock options based on projections of customer wants and needs, thanks to more sophisticated ways of processing large amounts of data. Time and money are being saved, giving those who do business online more opportunity to pass those savings down to customers.
It’s actually rather impressive how quickly we’ve changed how we shop and pay for things using the Internet. Just twenty or thirty years ago, it was utterly foreign of an idea to think that you could pay for your bills and shop for new things all from a small device that fits in the palm of your hand and operates at lightning-fast speeds. These three examples are just tiny drops in the overall bucket that’s the technological advancement of e-commerce, yet they are all significant in their own right. In five years, expect these three trends to massively change the online shopping landscape.